2009-12-20 / News

Feher Drive qualifies for funding in 2011

By Jeanne Marcello Staff Reporter

MONTROSE – Feher Drive, the road that ranked #1 on the Montrose City Council’s priority list of roads needing repair, has qualified for $88,000 in federal Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) funds. The funding is available for projects executed between 2010-2014. The segment of Feher targeted is approximately 1,100 feet long, between North Saginaw Street and Park Street.

Wade Trim Project Engineer Bethany Schroeder told the city council, “Feher Drive is ranked #1,” as far as Genesee County road projects. She explained that Genesee County wanted some communities to move up in the schedule to 2011. Most communities didn’t have the matching funds ready to get their projects going. Schroeder said, “Frank [Crosby] and Everett [Persall] are doing some number crunching.”

Feher is deteriorated and the drainage structures are failing, Schroeder explained. “This project would include storm sewer upgrades, drainage structure reconstruct, curb & gutter, aggregate base, new asphalt roadway and sidewalks,” she stated.

City Manager Frank Crosby wrote a letter to the Genesee County Planning Commission stating, “The City of Montrose, Genesee County, Michigan is committed to implement the [Feher Drive] project in the 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), preferably in the year 2011 in order to both prepare the preliminary engineering plans and to avoid disrupting the sole motor vehicle traffic street route to all Montrose Community Schools facilities at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, which a 2010 date would cause.”

City Manager Frank Crosby told the council that Montrose School Superintendent Mark Kleinhans called to thank the city for designating the project for 2011, since a 2010 project would’ve made September school bus logistics extremely difficult.

Crosby talked about the project, which would include new waterline, street and sidewalks in about one year.

Schroeder described the existing waterline on Feher Drive as “very brittle – you can’t sneeze on it.”

Crosby commented, “There are public safety issues.”

DPW Director Everett Persall explained that the waterline improvements improve fire flow, water pressure delivered to the fire hydrants and fire trucks.

Councilman Gene Powell asked about present bond rates.

Crosby responded saying, bond rates are at a 42 year low. But he also pointed out the issue of bonds being approved based upon property tax base. “I don’t want to borrow if we don’t need to,” Crosby stated, pointing out that the city still has $750,000 to pay off before financing another project. “I don’t want to do that tonight,” he added.

“When I arrived, all the TIP money was going to the county,” Crosby continued. He explained that the small cities had complained, leading to a new formula for county funding. “But then they found Flint was only getting 40 percent. Now they want to change it,” he said, “We’ve got to grab that $88,000 if we can!”.

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